This week in Sydney, LGBTQ+ community advocates and musical duo Stereogamus paid homage to the late SOPHIE with their commission of a giant mural in her likeness. Placed next to a painting of queer icon George Michael, the murlal's reveal came just ahead of the city's LGBTIQA Mardi Gras celebration on March 6th.
The work was created by local artist Scott Marsh, who painted the Michael tribute just last year. Featuring an angel halo and the lyrics, "It's okay to cry," the mural memorializes SOPHIE at her finest. A leading trans woman in the electronic dance music industry, SOPHIE tragically died following an accidental fall in Athens on January 30th, 2021.
"Losing her has been a painful experience for our community," Stereogamus said on social media. "Scottie Marsh has turned out this beautiful mural for the lovers and dreamers. Her bravery and production will inspire the planet for eons to come. A daughter of all of music’s outliers, and uniquely her own."
Street art has long been considered pushback against cultural norms, defiantly splashing imagery across public spaces. Queer artists such as Keith Haring and David Wojnarowicz, who both died of HIV/AIDS, helped pioneer the trend. Now, in addition to a growing spotlight on LGBTQ+ identifying street artists, there has also been an outpouring of works dedicated to queer pride, such as those depicting SOPHIE and Michael.
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Recently, murals have also become a memorial of choice for beloved musicians, publicly honoring their contributions to the discipline. For example, rainbow-colored imagery of Muddy Waters towers over Chicago's downtown, Nipsey Hussle's portrait looks out at Brooklyn, and Prince's face appears worldwide.